From Towcar supp, Aug 08

List price    £22,655
Target price    £20,267
Kerbweight    1611kg
85% Match    1369kg
Max towing weight    2000kg
Towball limit    90kg

IT’S NOT WHAT the Mondeo does, it’s the way that it does it. There are bigger cars, quicker cars and more economical cars. But none combines the Mondeo’s sharp responses, impressive comfort, superb stability and remarkable practicality.

Without a caravan, the Mondeo corners with amazing agility for such a big car. Deft steering helps the driver place the car with millimetre precision, and taut suspension keeps body movements in check no matter how much the road twists and turns. With a van in tow, the big Ford still makes you smile: the caravan just follows obediently behind it.

In our lane-change manoeuvre, the Mondeo was a class apart. Although the cornering generated high G-forces in the caravan, the smooth shape of the graph shows how the car remained firmly in control of the van.

The outfit accelerated from 30-60mph in 18.1 seconds – not quick, but assured enough for easy overtaking. The extra power of the manual version (138bhp instead of 128bhp) would probably shave off a few tenths, although there’s no doubt the auto made
life easier on the test hill.

Inside, the Mondeo is simply huge, with plenty of space for adults to stretch out in the rear seats. The enormous boot comfortably swallowed every item of luggage. If the handbook contained any useful information on towing, the practicality score would have been even higher.

Towing    *****
Solo    *****
Practicality    ***
Buying & owning    ****
Verdict    *****
Superb, spacious, stable: what more could you ask for?

Braking 30-0mph 10.73m